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To wonder if DC are easier if you already have pets?

(149 Posts)
Bobcatcornea Thu 14-Mar-19 10:45:06

I read the thread on all the things that are bad about being a Mum. A lot of the things on there are my life now - lack of spontaneity with trips as we constantly have to think about the cats even down to a spontaneous night out after work, being woken up at 6 am and every other blooming day of the week, the constantness of things - scoop litter trays, feeding, playing with them etc

Having DC is bloody hard. But AIBU to think that maybe the transition might be just a tad easier if you already have pets such as cats or dogs?

LoudBatPerson Thu 14-Mar-19 10:50:46

I had a number of pets prior to having children, with varying degrees of care needs (dog, cats, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, snakes, insects).

I don't think any of them helped prepare me for parenthood personally.

TheHolySmirk Thu 14-Mar-19 10:53:36

I doubt it.

Unless you worry for the rest of their lives about educating your pets, someone hurting them when you're not there, worrying that SS will be called because you leave them alone for 20 minutes at 8 years old, wonder whether a lack of vegetables at age 3 might raise their risk of cancer at 33.

Or you are constantly feeling judged when your cat has a tantrum in Tesco because the brioche was out of stock, or you weigh up whether it's worth risking a fine to take a two week holiday in June, or whether a child's vague stomach ache at 7pm keeps you up all night because 2% of your otherwise rational mind is convinced they have appendicitis. And then they wake up right as rain at 6am and you feel like the walking dead. grin

Pets just don't count for the same as children.

KidLorneRoll Thu 14-Mar-19 10:53:44

Not really. Sorry.

Arowana Thu 14-Mar-19 10:54:06

I see what you mean, but I think the problem with this theory is that having pets (depending on the type of pet) can make having kids even harder! As you have to worry about both of their needs.

Eg if you have a dog who needs walking every day, whatever the weather, and you have to take your newborn or drag your toddler along with you.

Camomila Thu 14-Mar-19 10:55:07

I thought similar as I had worked in a nursery before hand.

I think to a certain extent yes, I did find it easier (especially around the practical stuff, about development stages, and not being worried by mild childhood illnesses).

However I did find the lack of spontaneity/always having responsibility stressful.

So I guess what I’m saying is that it’ll probably help a bit, but that there’ll be a whole lot of new things to consider as well.

Arowana Thu 14-Mar-19 10:55:40

Also pets can be left on their own in the house for hours at a time. Babies can’t.

LegitimateShite Thu 14-Mar-19 10:56:39

TheHolySmirk - “constantly feeling judged when your cat has a tantrum in Tesco because the brioche was out of stock” - we’ve all been there. grin

OP, I don’t think so, no.

1stTimeMama Thu 14-Mar-19 10:57:21

Absolutely not. It's not even a little bit the same and I don't believe can prepare you in any way.

babysharkah Thu 14-Mar-19 10:57:33

Erm, no.

kaytee87 Thu 14-Mar-19 10:57:45

It's really not even similar, at all.

DoSomethingBob Thu 14-Mar-19 10:58:15

Yes, I think you might be right.
We had a very active and spontaneous social life. Lots of travelling at the drop of a hat. Thought nothing of finishing work and driving across the country to meet up with friends and either crashing on someone’s floor or sleeping in the van. Didn’t want children and really couldn’t see how they would fit into our life.
Then we were adopted by a very tiny and very sick stray kitten. We spent weeks getting up every two hours to feed him and give him his medicine. We took turns taking leave and then working from home to look after him. By the time he’d grown into the most glorious long haired, black cat our social life had totally changed. It then didn’t seem such a big step to having a baby.

ChampooPapi Thu 14-Mar-19 10:58:19

@TheHolySmirk all so true grin

Mookatron Thu 14-Mar-19 10:59:31

I think you are way too indulgent of your cats but yes, I suppose that level of commitment might prepare you for having kids. I was going to say cats don't care if a random stranger looks after them as long as they're fed but I think your cats might...

barkinatthemoon Thu 14-Mar-19 11:00:11

I genuinely used to think "how much harder can a baby be than a dog?!".....
Oh how I laugh at my naive former self now 🤣!
My only pregnant worry was how I was going to be able to walk the dogs and push a buggy at the same time. No one warned you that some babies hate buggies, and sleep, and need changing every half hour, constantly want to be attached to your boob, so the chance of actually walking the dog goes firmly out the window anyway! (luckily my dh still finds time every day to walk them)

I guess it might make things like the lack of spontinuity slightly less daunting as owning a dog has already put pay to that, but owning dogs and raising kids is completely incomparable... And doing both at the same time is bloody exhausting!

teyem Thu 14-Mar-19 11:00:25

You know when people leave dogs outside of shops and they howl like a mother fucker because the owner has momentarily abandoned them and everyone else in the shop looks at each other with an unspoken understanding that the owner is doing a terrible job and are to be JUDGED.

Motherhood is a bit like that but all the time.

Bobcatcornea Thu 14-Mar-19 11:01:24

I think you are way too indulgent of your cats

I'm not sure how I'm way too indulgent? They're 3 months old, it's not like they'd be okay with random strangers feeding them and not seeing us for days at a time...

Bobcatcornea Thu 14-Mar-19 11:02:33

I get that it's totally different and a huge amount of responsibility - I already have a stepdaughter but I didn't know her at the baby stage. Surely in some aspects it helps though?

StarlightIntheNight Thu 14-Mar-19 11:05:03

I have two dc and we got a pup last summer...getting the pup was a complete walk in the park compared to the two kids....I would say, having kids and then getting a dog, makes it seem having a dog is so easy! I don't think getting a dog first prepares you much for having kids. If you end up with a difficult baby (which we did), nothing can compare you for that...baby constantly crying if put down. I had to hold her all day long. She would not even lie in her stroller so I could not enjoy any walks with her etc. It took about 6 months for her to outgrow the needing to be held all day long every day and she was still difficult until she turned 4...she is strong willed etc. Now she is 7 and my ds (who was slightly easier) is 5...we got a dog and everyone had scare stories etc saying how difficult the dog would be....I guess we were lucky in that department as we got a dream dog who slept through the night from day one!

Samind Thu 14-Mar-19 11:05:21

@teyem 😂😂😂😂

DSHathawayGivesMeFannyGallops Thu 14-Mar-19 11:05:25

I don't think the transition is easier but the fact that I know I'm not willing to consider curtailing my freedom for an animal at this point is a definite indicator to me that I'm not ready for the far greater responsibility of parenthood, either.

Bobcatcornea Thu 14-Mar-19 11:07:02

but the fact that I know I'm not willing to consider curtailing my freedom for an animal at this point is a definite indicator to me that I'm not ready for the far greater responsibility of parenthood, either

That's a really good way of looking at it from the other side smile

AnyWalls Thu 14-Mar-19 11:07:05

it's not like they'd be okay with random strangers feeding them and not seeing us for days at a time...

grin

Afraid they'll develop attachment issues? grin

Mookatron Thu 14-Mar-19 11:07:17

I was only teasing you Bobcatcornea. I do think your kittens wouldn't mind being fed by someone else though, honestly. But I wouldn't be letting a cat wake me up at 6 every day (heartless).

Bobcatcornea Thu 14-Mar-19 11:08:22

@AnyWalls no not at all but generally it's advised not to leave them when they're so young as they're only just getting used to their environment and the people in it especially since they were only adopted last month. Have you ever had kittens?

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